North America


The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its decision in Matthews v Ocean Nutrition Canada Limited, 2020 SCC 26, awarding a constructively dismissed employee with $1.1 million dollars in damages for his employer’s failure to provide him with 15 months of reasonable notice upon termination, and a bonus payment that realized during his reasonable notice period.

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Age of Learning, Inc. (Age of Learning), which operates as ABCmouse, a subscription service for young children’s educational content, agreed to pay $10 million dollars to settle claims by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its negative option and billing practices, including its failure to clearly tell parents that their subscriptions would automatically renew at the end of the term.

The Complaint

The FTC filed a complaint against Age of Learning alleging that the company violated the FTC Act by making misrepresentations about cancellations, failing to clearly disclose the terms of the auto-renewal subscriptions and unfairly charging consumers without their prior consent. Read more…

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Out Of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & The Case Of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series (before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky.  And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for five and one half years (first article appeared in March 2015), and have shown my Star Trek chops and character knowledge here on several different occasions, like bouncing from planet to planet.  So, to paraphrase that famous opening, I have tried exploring “Law: the final frontier. These are the voyages of ILN’s enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new cases. To explain new rights and new rationalizations. To boldly show where lawsuits have gone before!”

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“Ban the Box” Update: St. Louis Enacts Ordinance; California and Hawaii Expand Existing Laws

In the last several years, a growing number of states and municipalities have passed “ban the box” laws that to varying degrees prohibit employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal background until later in the hiring process and/or restrict employers from using certain criminal conviction information in connection with their hiring decisions.  Recently, St. Louis, Missouri joined this group, while California and Hawaii expanded their existing prohibitions on criminal history inquiries.

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Davis Malm Welcomes Allison Ahern Fillo

Davis Malm is happy to announce that Allison Ahern Fillo has joined the firm. Allison will continue to advise businesses and individuals seeking U.S. immigration and naturalization benefits. Her practice will enhance Davis Malm’s robust business capabilities by counseling clients on day-to-day immigration issues regarding employment and compliance, as well as immigration concerns arising in corporate transactions. Allison also assists clients in obtaining all categories of nonimmigrant visas and U.S. lawful permanent residence.

We are excited to expand our service capabilities with Allison’s addition and look forward to working with her. Learn more about Allison.

Learn more about our immigration practice. 

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Gaming Attorney Jennifer Carleton Brings In-House Counsel Experience to Boyd School of Law Course

ROYAL OAK, Mich./LAS VEGAS, NV, October 20, 2020 – Howard & Howard attorney Jennifer Carleton is sharing her significant experience in gaming and Native American/Indian Gaming Law as an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law. Carleton is teaching an online course this semester entitled “Special Topics: Indian Gaming Law.”

The class, offered for the first time at Boyd School of Law, will explore numerous legal issues involved in the operation of tribal gaming facilities in the U.S. It also examines the background and history of tribal gaming in North America; the provisions and application of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA); and the powers of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). In addition, the course will address some of the major issues currently impacting the Indian gaming industry, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of online gaming, and the addition of sports betting.

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Secrecy Is a Necessary, but Not Sufficient, Condition of Alleging Information Is “Trade Secret”: a Court Rules Information Must Confer a Competitive Business Advantage to Receive Statutory Trade Secret Protection Under DTSA

In Payward, Inc. v. Runyon, Case No. 20-cv-02130-MMC, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, ruling that information alleged to be “secret” failed to qualify as a “trade secret” under the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  The Court applied California and federal precedent explaining trade secret information confers a competitive business advantage, and found the complaint lacked any such allegations.  The decision make sense given the particular allegations in the case.  But does a “competitive business advantage” requirement comport with a strict textualist reading of the DTSA?

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A group of Republican Senators recently introduced the “Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency and Accountability Act” (SAFE DATA Act) in the latest attempt at passing the first comprehensive federal data privacy law in the United States. The SAFE DATA Act combines provisions from previous data privacy bills supported by the Republican Senators, including the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, the DETOUR Act and the BROWSER Act.

When introducing the bill, the SAFE DATA Act’s sponsors, emphasized the importance of having a federal law which would provide individuals more control and transparency over the use of their personal data, especially in the light of increased online activity due to COVID-19. Read more…

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Future Electronics v. Chubb Insurance: The Insurer Prevails in Canada’s First Ruling on the Social Engineering Fraud Endorsement

By Nick Krnjevic and Maro Coric, from our Insurance Law Practice Group

October 15, 2020 — The Quebec Superior Court ruling rendered on September 29 in Future Electronics Inc. (Distribution) Pte Ltd. v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, 2020 QCCS 3042 is the first Canadian decision, and only the second North American ruling, that has analyzed the interplay between the Social Engineering Fraud, Computer Fraud and Funds Transfer Fraud insuring agreements of a Commercial Crime Policy.[1]

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Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise; Are You Ready?

Ransomware attacks have increased exponentially in recent years and COVID-19’s remote work policies only contributed to how successful bad actors are in perpetrating the attacks. If your company is not currently working towards increasing cybersecurity controls, it has never been a better moment to start doing so, especially if you deal with sensitive technologies or defense industries. In addition to the obvious business challenges companies face when dealing with a ransomware attack, there are several U.S. government laws, regulations, and implementing agencies that companies must be mindful of in the aftermath of an attack.

To access the full article, click HERE.

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